How many wins does it take to make the finals in AFL?

Blog, Gambling Blog | | May 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm

With 17 teams in the AFL this year, and only a top 8 available for finals, to make the finals one would have to win by more than the 11 to 12 matches for the year. This year is a little different. With 9 teams missing out, along with supposedly easy beats Gold Coast, perhaps teams will need to win more matches than normal to make the finals and the top4.

Gold Coast haven’t proven as easy to beat so far this year, defeating Brisbane, who have yet to win a game and Port Adelaide, who are also swindling next to last on the ladder.

Gold Coast have yet to play many big teams, perhaps on purpose, with their only 2 games against finalists in 2010 being Carlton, who managed to just slip into the eight, and the Western Bulldogs who finished fourth.

So that being said, with an extra lower ladder dweller in the lineup, and 9 teams missing out on the finals, more wins for teams is necessary to make the finals.

Also, considering that we’ve had three draws this year, this puts an extra spanner in the works.

So how many games does a team need to make the top 8 and the top 4? The following is from a simulation with my AFL model:

Wins Points %In8
8 32 0%
8.5 34 0%
9 36 0%
9.5 38 0%
10 40 3%
10.5 42 14%
11 44 29%
11.5 46 57%
12 48 83%
12.5 50 94%
13 52 99%
13.5 54 100%
14 56 100%

As one can see from above, 11 wins for the year is not necessarily going to be enough to make the finals with only a 29% chance. 11 wins and a draw will get you just over half the time, whilst 12 and a half wins will get you there 94 times in 100.

To make the top4 and have the double chance, more wins are necessary. 14 wins might sneak you in, but at least 14.5 or 15 are realistically required. With Collingwood and Geelong on six wins from six starts, the probably only need to win 8 or 9 from their remaining 16 matches to make the top 4.

Wins Points %In4
12 48 0%
12.5 50 1%
13 52 5%
13.5 54 14%
14 56 33%
14.5 58 53%
15 60 75%
15.5 62 87%
16 64 96%
16.5 66 99%
17 68 100%
17.5 70 100%
18 72 100%
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